Boris Johnson

2019 -

Boris Johnson (1964- ) was born in New York, of British parents with Turkish, German and Jewish ancestry. He was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, where he gained a second-class degree but was President of the Oxford Union. He then became a journalist, for the Times, the Daily Telegraph (for whom he was Brussels Correspondent) and the Spectator, which he edited from 1999-2005.

Johnson became MP for Henley in 2001, then in 2008 began two 4-year terms as Mayor of London, a high-profile position with little power created by the Blair government in 1999. He campaigned for the “Leave” side in the 2016 Brexit referendum and then served two years as Foreign Secretary, from which he resigned in protest at May’s proposed EU exit deal. After May’s resignation he ran for the leadership, winning a 2 to 1 majority among the party membership.

Johnson’s, term of office began with two substantial successes: having manoeuvred Cameron’s badly-designed “Fixed-Term Parliaments Act” into a general election, he won a substantial majority over the extremist Jeremy Corbyn (1949- ) and then he finally extracted Britain from the European Union, although Brexit supporters still fear he will wimp out of a “hard” exit with no agreement, should that prove necessary, as seems likely. His handling of the Covid-19 crisis has been statist and mildly inept, but that does not distinguish him for any other of the world’s political leaders. In the long run, this will matter much less than Brexit, should he finalize that liberation.

His ultimate ranking will be determined by his success in steering the economy of an independent Britain, avoiding the siren songs of ultra-low interest rates, infrastructure boondoggles and expensive “climate change” nonsense.

© 2020 Martin Hutchinson